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The Great American Eclipse is Here, Aug. 21

The Great American Eclipse is Here, Aug. 21

Using mounted binoculars on a tripod to project the sun’s image safely onto a sheet of whiteshaded cardboard. Credit: Bob King.

Monday, August 21st, a total solar eclipse will be visible in Marin County from 9:01 to 11:36 a.m. The maximum that the moon will cover the Sun will occur at 10:15 a.m.

Known as “The Great American Eclipse”,  this eclipse will cross Oregon and travel though South Carolina, and be seen by millions of people in its “path of totality” – when the moon entirely covers the face of the Sun. This eclipse will be the first Total Solar Eclipse in the United States since Feb. 26, 1979.

From the Bay Area, the moon will just cover 75 percent of the sun. This will still be enough for the various public libraries to be excited with this event.

The Sausalito Public Library, located in the City Hall Building at 420 Litho Street, will view the eclipse from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at Dunphy Park, located nearby on Bridgeway and Napa Street. Coffee, juice snacks will be served and free eclipse-viewing glasses will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. If the weather does not cooperate, the feed from the Exploratorium will be streamed in the Edgewater room in the Library.

The Belvedere Tiburon Library, located at 1501 Tiburon Blvd, in Tiburon, will view the eclipse on the grass outside the library. Local amateur astronomer, Jessica Miller, will display the eclipse with a special viewing telescope, and will answer basic questions about the eclipse.

The Novato Public Library, located in 1720 Novato Blvd, will also have an eclipse viewing on their lawn. The Library will provide snacks, coffee, juice, water, and viewing glasses (while supplies last).

View the solar eclipse safely. Never view or look at the sun through binoculars or telescopes with the naked eye. You will risk becoming blind. One can instead to produce an “Optical Project,” by using a binocular to project the image onto a shaded surface such as a piece of paper.

Other ways of viewing the eclipse can be found on www.exploratorium.edu/eclipse/how-to-view-eclipse. These include making a Pinhole Projector with tin foil. Eclipse glasses can be purchased on-line or at a science museum store. A number 14 welder glass will suffice. A proper solar filter can be used on a telescope.

The San Francisco Exploratorium, along with their NASA partner, will be filming the eclipse from two different locations and will live stream through the web. It can be watched  live on their website and on their free Android and iOS app​s.

Or you can visit the Exploratorium, located at Pier 15 (Embarcardero at Green Street) in San Francisco, and join them for their special Eclipse-Day Program.


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